I’ve picked up an awful new addiction during this semester, listening to podcasts, well the listening to podcasts part goes back to after my 1st CNMC but I’ve acquired the habit of listening to podcasts that I no longer in production.
I’ve listened to so many podcasts in the last few months that the audio jack, where I plug in a headset, on my computer has ceased to function.
I heard that the body of St. Maria Goretti would be touring the U.S. & wondered if there would be a stop close to me, I wasn’t holding my breath but I knew I’d probably wish I had made the effort if there was the slimmest chance.
If I’ve totally lost you go listen to SaintCast episode 15 and come back later.
I emailed my cousin to see if he’d be interested in going with me.
“How can we NOT go?”
He was right; it was so close, relatively speaking, that we couldn’t not go. I’m not the biggest fan of dead bodies, but how many chances does a person get to see a real saint?
I made the decision to take my wheelchair because I didn’t want to think about standing in a long line (even though I knew full well I’d be playing right into the misconception that people with disabilities have a greater need for prayer and feel more akin to the Communion of Saints). Plus my cousin has 6 kids and I wanted to give him some “off time” from having to keep tabs on another person.
It ended up not being as busy as I thought it would be, but then again we were going in the middle of the week, and in the middle of the day.
We found a parking spot quickly and headed inside, through the handicapped entrance so I joked that we’d probably get to skip the line because we were using a different entrance than most people.
It’s a running joke in the family that going out with me means that occasionally you get surprise privileges, easier parking, and better seating at sporting events, no lines at Disney; although not everyone has had the joy of experiencing it firsthand.
I’m happy (and somewhat sad) to say this was one of those times.
We went in and surveyed the situation. I thought about going to the back of the line but I noticed a priest assisting people off to the side of the main line, and closer to the door.
“Let’s just go up to him. We can probably jump the line” Yes, I do realize how awful that makes me.
We were told to wait until the person in front of us was finished and then we’d be escorted to the reliquary.
I thought an escort was a little much since I wasn’t going to be getting out of my chair. But there are plenty of other times when I wished I had such a privilege so I took it.
We were taken to the front, and I made space for my cousin to be next to me. On the other side of me I hear, “Would you like to touch the reliquary?”
It then occurs to me that this is the closest I’ve ever been to a dead body EVER, so I guess it’s a good thing that the first time was for a saint, there was no way I was going to touch it. I’ve touched one casket in my entire life and that was good enough for me. I might’ve felt differently if there had been some prompting by the Holy Spirit but I think it/he/she knew this was a big day for several reasons & I can only take so many breakthroughs in one day before breaking down.
“Nope. I’m good thanks.”
Yeah, I told a priest “Nope,” cause I’m full of politeness and class and all that.
After spending some time in front of the reliquary we parked ourselves in a nearby pew for some prayer, and if you’re me, people-watching-after-prayer.
I had been to this particular parish before, but I couldn’t remember when, or why. My cousin says we’ve both been there before, and together, so my guess is I was pretty young and passed to a bigger cousin or two.
After some prayer time we discussed whether we wanted to stay longer or leave. The conversation went something like this:
“Do you want to stay longer or are you finished?”
“Whatever you want to do, but if we go now we can get a cupcake.”
“Let’s go get cupcakes.”
There’s a reason why Catholics are referred to as practicing Catholics and not perfect Catholics, and even if that was a thing we’d both fail pretty miserably. And it’s pretty obvious that even though we’re technically both adults, we’re actually overgrown children.
I should also be noted that this is one of only a handful of times that my cousin and I have had one on one time. We both agreed that we had the best time and we should do stuff like this again (Are there any more saints touring the US anytime soon?).